Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Teaching Old Norse in North America

Today there was another "terrorist attack" at a university in the United States. A young man from Somalia drove his car into a crowd of people, then jumped out and stabbed several others with a knife before the police shot him. Using one's car as a weapon appears to be a new terrorist tactic, at least it is similar to what was done in Paris over Bastille Day. And he's Muslim; he'd been quoted in the school paper saying how hard it was for Muslims to find a place to pray at the university a few months earlier.

A friend of mine works at The Ohio State University, where this attack took place. She and I went to Berkeley together, we both studied Old Norse. She wrote her dissertation on the figure of Odinn as a "guest" in several different genres of Old Norse literature. She's more of a folklorist, interested in the subconscious and symbolic, whereas I am more interested in human-material interactions. I felt really bad for her today, what a terrible thing to go through.

We were all very happy when she got that position at The Ohio State University. It was the first gain of Old Norse teaching in a long time, the first conversion of a non-Old Norse position into an Old Norse position. The field has actually lost a lot of Old Norse professorships in the U.S. It used to be taught at Stanford and the University of Virginia and much more robustly at University of Washington and University of Texas at Austin. But now all of those are gone, and it doesn't look like they will be replaced anytime soon, unfortunately.

Professors of Old Norse are literally few and far between in the U.S., an endangered species of sorts. We certainly don't need any of them being the subject of terrorist attacks.

As readers of my blog know, I am not generally speaking a negative person. But one does learn over time that the world is a scary, complicated place, and that the things you depend on and hope to happen don't always happen, and instead terrible, disheartening, awful things that you never wanted to have happen do happen. I've stopped believing in the power of positive thinking. Que sera sera.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Gimli, Manitoba

This summer I took my son to Icelandic Camp in Gimli Manitoba. It was my first time in "New Iceland". I had an amazing time and met some very nice people - even went sailing out on Lake Winnipeg with two sisters raised in the area that spoke Icelandic as their first language. It was really fun hearing their dialect, slightly different than modern Icelandic. That, plus the Icelandic flags, vineterta in the bakeries, and murals depicting the Icelandic settlers arriving all made me feel like I was somehow in Iceland. There was even a pub in town called the Ship and Plow I went to one night, with a huge Icelandic flag signed by all the people who had been at the pub to watch the Icelandic national team defeat England in the Euro Cup. It was like I'd found an Iceland I could drive to!

But then I started to notice a few things. Like the fact that the camp was at the Ukrainian park, and that the chef was Ukrainian, not Icelandic. And at the pub, I didn't meet any Icelanders, I met a Mennonite (or well someone descended from the Mennonite settlers).

Since then I have been busy reading, and writing a review for, a new book by Ryan Eyford called White Settler Reserve. It chronicles all the pressures arrayed against the establishment of an exclusive Icelandic settlement area on the shores of Lake Winnipeg, as well as the racist assumptions that allowed Icelanders to be given (well, loaned) that land over Aboriginal claims. Even more problematic, from the point of view of the survival of the optimistic dream of New Iceland, was its proximity to the growing province of Manitoba. As long as New Iceland remained in the independent area of the Northwest Territories, it had autonomy and freedom. But Manitoba wanted to grow its boundaries, and many in New Iceland also wanted more administrative structure and with it financial and political stability.

How long can a White Reserve remain out there in the wilderness, really? Here's some photographic evidence....









Friday, November 25, 2016

Been a while

So, I haven't blogged in a while, or been keeping up with the Icelandic news much. But I must say I am a bit pleased that US politics aren't the only ones in a bizarre post-election limbo land. The Icelandic situation of not being able to form a coalition government is intriguing. How long until a government is formed, and will the resulting cabinet be as mish-mash-apple-sauce as whatever blob is emerging from Trump Tower? I don't know, but I am morbidly curious to witness this slow train wreck.

I was looking back through some old blogs, and discovered it was in August of 2015 that I posted about why Donald Trump might just become the next President of the United States. How very weird that looks to be what is actually happening. It still does not feel real.

And there are still several scenarios that might stop it from ever really happening, such as a recount effort in several key swing states, the threat of some rogue Electoral College delegates switching sides, and of course the possible impeachment of Donald Trump once he does take office.

In that blog from over a year ago, I wrote about leaders needing to be true to themselves and to their core values, and Trump seemingly doing just that. Now that he is trying to put together a cabinet, the most consistent priority I have seen is that his family is more important to him than this country. That is neither surprising nor even particularly upsetting, even though it is sad that he might leave this country in ruins for his own personal, familial needs. Still, one couldn't really blame him for it. And if that is the worst thing he does, he'd be an OK guy in many people's books. But there is no telling what he will do, and honestly, none of it is really registering yet.

I have given some thought to Hillary Clinton though. I must say, I am so glad she is moving on with her life. Before the election, I never would have said that, I was also really sure she was going to win. But to see her reading a book about some other topic entirely made me happy, she should just hang out on Facebook and relax. She has done her duty for this country absolutely, and now her time is over, she deserves to explore something new: retirement. I am surprised at myself for not being more upset, I thought I would have been, but no. Which does suggest part of me knew all along she wouldn't become President.

So of course there was lots of talk pre-election about people wanting to move to Canada. I don't hear much about that now, it seems instead people want to stay here in the US. And fight for what is right.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Geography 101

It's so interesting to be here in the Faroes, realizing this is what hundreds of thousands of years of waves and rain can do to a landscape. And this summer I learned that stretching from Canada to Texas used to be an ocean. It's humbling to realize just how insignificant we really are in the scope of things.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Suðurgata

When I was a child, I spent many of my summers in Iceland, and much of the time during those summers at my amma and afi's house in Keflavík, on Suðurgata. My mother never identified with that house much, since her parents bought it after she married my dad and moved to the States. Instead, in her mind her childhood home is on Solvallagata.

Still, when her parents died, they willed the house to all four of their kids, my mother included. Parents do this often in wills, think somehow that one house can be split between four people, but that never works in reality. In this case, it is even less practical, because my mother's brother actually lives in the house. And he was able to arrange it so that his other siblings ceded their parts to him. So now he claims 3/4 of the house.

My mom has had her 1/4 for years now, and has even helped pay for repairs, etc. But she has never taken any advantage of it, well, except in 2006, when we had Palmer's baptism party in that house.

Last night, Palmer was asking me why we aren't going to Iceland this summer. I told him it is because we don't have anywhere to stay. I'm not going to beg my cousins to let me sleep on their couch again like I did in January, especially not with my son along as well. And I'm not going to get a hotel room in a place I once considered home.

So instead I plan to take my son to an Icelandic camp in Gimli, Manitoba. They will teach him some Icelandic, and I told him it would make things easier for when he does get to see his Icelandic cousins. But when or how or if that will ever happen, I have no idea. I am not planning on anything.


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Moveable feast

Iceland has gotten progressively more international and diverse in its food selection over the years, and this trip, it was particularly noticeable. The first two nights I was in town, I stayed with my relative Þórdís in Keflavík, and the first night, I brought home Thai food from my favorite restaurant in Keflavík, named, not surprisingly, Thai Keflavík. The following night she brought home one of her favorite dishes, a ready-made Chinese duck with mooshoo pancakes that I think she got at Nétto. I then migrated over to my friend Sigrún's house in Reykjavík, where she was kind enough to have made a full Icelandic leg of lamb dinner for me, along with these amazing rolls she learned how to bake in England. The next night Sigrún and I went out to Serrento's for dinner, which we both thought was going to be Italian pasta but it turned out to be Mexican food, I had a quesadilla. But it was back to Asia for dinner on Tuesday, first having Sushi in Kópavogur with my relative Bryndís, followed by more sushi at Sushi Samba with my friends Gísli and Örnólfur. And my last night in Iceland, over at Bryndis brother, Leifur, in Keflavík, we had a wonderful creamy chicken soup with peppers that counts as modern Icelandic cuisine I think, at least it was something his wife regularly served at special occasions like baptisms and confirmations.

Mid-day meals were a lot more traditionally Icelandic. I had kjötsuppa for lunch twice, both my first full day in Iceland and my last day, and I had a 3pm coffee with cakes and that creamy asparagus ham and cheese dish both on Sunday and on Tuesday, once with my cousins in Sandgerði and the second time with my mom's cousin in Reykjavík. Monday lunch was "rettir dagsins" at HÍ, a wonderful fish dish, ýsa with salad. Wednesday I also ate at HÍ, but I didn't get rettir dagsins since it was tuna in pasta (yuck), but I must say I don't remember what I did get, I was too distracted by all the rigmarole around me. Tuesday lunch was at that great restaurant next to the Saga Museum down by the harbor, I very much recommend it, Mattur og Drykkur it is called. They only serve traditional Icelandic food, but with a modern twist. I had the fiskibollur, very good. And Thursday, although I had already had the lamb soup for lunch at Víkingaheimar (which is incredibly good, super food really, good for what ails ya), I went ahead and got a hotdog also. Because what is a trip to Iceland without einn með öllu.  

I like the emergence of a varied Icelandic pallet, a bit of this, a bit of that. A splash of South American spices never hurt anything, but I must say, if I am going to have sushi in Iceland, I don't want it to have mayonnaise on it. The fresh raw fish is just way too good.

It is like social media in a way. I don't think I am the only person who compartmentalizes myself online: my facebook self is more "normal" than my instagram self. And my blogger self is a lot more chatty than my email self. So we all need multiple outlets to express the full of our beings. But what we don't need is to only eat one kind of food over and over and over again, day after day after day, endlessly. Iceland joined the modern world so it could eat something other than kjötsúppa daglega.


* Who I am on Skype is none of your business.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Northern Lights

I saw the Northern Lights briefly during my trip to Iceland, dancing there in the corner of the sky. I didn't get a picture of it, seems almost disrespectful to try to limit a miracle of nature into something so mundane.

I have been awed by the moon on its own sometimes, and when the stars are shinning bright they are wonderful to behold. But there is nothing in the entire world quite like the delicate interplay of green and blue moving seamlessly, wordlessly as one, across the heavens, oblivious to their power to transfix everyone around them. 

The first time I saw the Northern Lights, I was totally overwhelmed. I remember standing outside, completely mesmerized. And afterwards I cried, and I was shaking. Honestly, the experience was so overpowering that the idea for instance of taking a Northern Lights tour created an anxiety, a fear in me. I didn't think I could handle it, not in any kind of public setting. So intense, so personal, so beautiful, I'd just be an emotional wreck.

I wouldn't say I am entirely used to them now, not by a long shot. For me, they still contain the power to make the whole world disappear around me, and all I see are those colors shimmering above me. But on this last trip to Iceland, they didn't scare me, they seemed like old friends I'd missed so much. I was so grateful I got to see them, disappointed the display didn't last a bit longer.

I was listening to Kermit's song this morning, the Rainbow Connection Rainbows are visions, but only illusions,
And rainbows have nothing to hide.
So we've been told and some choose to believe it
I know they're wrong, wait and see.


And we've been told the same with the Northern Lights, its an illusion of sorts, a bending of light. And some could choose to believe that, that they can be explained as a scientific phenomena. But I know they're wrong, I know the Northern Lights are much more than that. Delicate, ephemeral, powerful, eternal. A sort of perpetual ying and yang in the sky, reminding us that life contains a depth of mystery and magic, in those rare moments when just the right conditions are met. And I am standing there, part of it all.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Víkingaheimar, take 2

When I was in Iceland last week, I spent a lot of time in Víkingaheimar and talking about Víkingaheimar with the people now running it and others that know it well.

The history of Víkingaheimar, some of the things that didn't happen and the things that did happen, is not a completely happy one, and it was especially unlucky to try to open just after in the the Kreppa struck. And there are a lot of things unknown about the future of Víkinaheimar, who is going to do what and what changes are going to happen both inside and out.

But I was very happy about two things. First of all, I was happy about how I felt walking into Víkingaheimar. You never know how you are going to feel until the exact moment when you are there, and my emotions could have been anywhere on the spectrum from upset and angry to not caring to annoyed. But instead I was just genuinely and spontaneously happy, and it felt good that I was that engaged, that I am not so scared as to be cut off from feeling happy. It felt good to be there, looking at the view, smelling the tar and the wood.

And then I stopped by on my last day, not for long, just to pick something up. It was really sweet though to see that the people working there had really taken to heart a few of my suggestions, and had actually implemented them, had moved some things around and made some changes I had asked for. That was really sweet. It is such a good feeling, even if it isn't some big dramatic overhaul, just to feel like I was listened to, that I was respected, that my opinion matter. And that people were glad I had come.

All you can do is one step at a time, and be glad for what you got, rather than stewing over what you didn't.

Which reminds me, the lamb stew at Víkingaheimar is really delicious. 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Sigrun's rugs

While I was in Reykjavík, I was fortunate to get to stay with my artist friend, Sigrun Lara Shanko. I first got to know her silk work because it was Viking inspired, with runic texts and images of Viking Age artifacts painted in muted colors on  smooth silk, imported from China. It was impressive work and it sold well at Víkingaheimar.

But I'm very glad she switched over to making wool rugs. They are dominated by undyed, muted colors, grey, black and white but with lines of color weaving through, inspired by the Icelandic landscape. Like deep blue rivers running through ash-laden valleys or molten lava inching down a hillside, hard and black on top, red underneath. The hints of color in a neutral setting are so alluring: the blues mesmerize you like the eyes of your lover, the only thing you see in a room of 200 people, the deep reds reach out to you and hug you even when hanging in the farthest corner. It's amazing.

Her rugs are made out of pure Icelandic wool, so they are natural and warm and they will last forever.

Here's a link to her website: www.shankorugs.com

Monday, January 25, 2016

Sad Car

Up on Ásbru, the new name of the former NATO Base, where my parents met and where I used to live, is a car rental company called Sad Cars. That's where I got my dented, rusting, 1998(?) green Yaris. The back windshield wiper doesn't work, and it has no hubcaps, and it has a vague oily smell after it's been driven for a whole, and there is a funny noise if you break while turning. I guess that's why it's a sad car. 

It's OK, I'm sad too. 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Liljevalchs

I hope my readers will forgive me for being so tardy in blogging. Let's just say it isn't a good idea to travel with two deadline projects back home left unfinished. After sleeping in past breakfast time at the hotel this morning (I had been awake working until 5am and then finally fell asleep hard), I salvaged what I could of the day by walking over to the island where the Nordiske Museet, Skanse, and Vasa Museum are located. I was very glad a museum colleague of mine had recommended I see an exhibit at another museum, called Liljevalchs. It is was a bit further down the path but well, well worth it.

The exhibit is called Utopian Bodies, which is a very intersting way to think of clothing, as our idealized self. The exhibit, which took over the whole museum, had all sorts of complex philosophical ideas about dystopias and Utopias, about technology and sustainability, and about conformity. But my two favorite galleries were the last two, one dealing with Judith Butler and gender, with displays of wonderful gender non-conforming clothing, and the last one dealing with love and joy and playfulness.

Anyhow, here is a link for those with an open enough mind to imagine a future unlike our present. http://www.liljevalchs.se/english/exhibitions/utopian-bodies-fashion-looks-forward/

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Hotel Esplanade

When I booked this hotel online a few weeks ago, it's location reminded me of a hotel I stayed at in Stockholm in 1998, when I was working on the Viking exhibition at the Smithsonian. That hotel was a small botique hotel right in the waterfront, and although the three other people on the trip with me were unimpressed, I remember liking it very well, even though my room was tiny.

So I did not hesitate to book at Hotel Esplanade, close to the museum and right on the waterfront. It is an old hotel, and I think it may well be the same one I stayed at all those years ago. What I like about it is that it is a weird hybrid, kind of like a bed and breakfast more than a hotel. There is no elevator for one, so that makes it like a house. But the real distinction is the decor, which is a hodgepodge of styles. There are beautiful antique pieces from the 1800s, including even the desk in my room, intermixed with cool mid century modern pieces, like my coffee table, and then 1980s style floral covered chairs and couches. Plus two Victorian end tables. This I like. I like the messy palimpsest, I like the lack of consistency, I like that you are wading into the reality of this hotel. It's been here a while. They don't have the money to hire some fancy corporate designer with an overbearing and artificial design agenda to come in and whitewash that reality away.

Call me old fashioned, but I prefer things more organic, the way they used to be.

Arlanda airport

I like how the architecture of allthe Nordic airports feel similar, such that when I arrived in Sweden it felt familiar. And then, as I made my way from the plane to the luggage drop to the train station, I recalled another reason it felt so familiar. I was here in 2009 for the Saga Conference, and the experience at Arlanda was not good. I had to pay a lot in extra baggage fees.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Finnish history

Tonight I went to a rather extensive talk (79 slides!) about Finnish history.  The speaker, a graduate student working on his dissertation, emphasized that there are many dark parts of Finnish history that never get talked about. Sad times when terrible things happened, like the civil war and the red and white terrors. But through it all there was enough of a sense of democracy and law that things moved forward, rather than turning even darker.

It's all so hard, because it seems untrue to ignore the past, to push things under the rug, but on the other hand, talking it out can reopen wounds and trauma all over again. A nation has to be able to move forward.

This morning I bought my ticket to Iceland, and my niece passed her driver's test, and my sister made it down to my parents house safely.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

it is raining in California

A long steady rain, the kind of soaking that will surely cause flooding and might actually make a dent in the drought. The kind of rain this disaster zone of a state needs. No fake snow in the mountains, just the real stuff please. 

I'm taking my son down to see my parents tomorrow but am feeling humble about it. Tonight I asked him if he wanted a tuna sandwich for a snack, and he told me he hates tuna. That's the sort of thing a mother really ought to know. 

I made oatmeal for breakfast though, that was good, made it with milk and butter instead of water so it was rich and creamy. 

Anyhow, if there is anything the last days, weeks, months, years and decades have taught me, it is that Star Wars, Star Trek, and Superman are constantly being revamped. And I would like something steadfast, even though I haven't done anything to deserve it. 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Nordic Fest Dinner

I am now in the midst of finalizing details for the last of my four major Christmas themed events in as many weeks, and all of it work related.

This time it is a formal sit down dinner, a sort of office party I guess only it isn't a crazy dance all night-do-things-you-might-regret later kind of party. Rather it is a tradition for a lot of people, who bring a group of friends with them and thereby save themselves from having to throw a party at their house. Attending the Nordic Fest dinner has become a part of their holiday plan.

In years past, it has always been a huge buffet, but this year, the majority of members who voiced an opinion asked to have a plated meal served to the table. There clearly are some people who wanted change. On the other hand, I have been getting plenty of phone calls from people who are confused and don't understand why we have changed things. They liked things just the way they were. 

So the common phrase is that opposites attract, but I really don't think that is true. At least for something like this, it seems more like a recipe for disaster. You see, I am the sort of person who likes change. I can pat myself on the back and say that is because I worked hard to develop a growth-mindset, but I don't think that is true. The first psychologist I ever went to (when I was 17) was amazed when I told her that, as a 9 year old, I demanded that me and my friends (of which I was the youngest by far) stop doing something we had been doing for several years. To me, it has always seemed natural that things must come to an end, nothing goes on forever. But for lots of people, the entire point of life is to struggle very hard to keep things going exactly as they have been going, to avoid any change at every cost.

The thing about opposites attracting is that there has to be a fundamental respect for the fact that another way of doing things has its advantages. I can see the advantages, especially from a logistics point of view, of doing things exactly the same way. So I do respect it up to a point. But it is definitely a fulcrum, and when it tips, I head over to disrespect. I can't help it. No one is perfect, of course, least of all me, but I do like that about myself, that I embrace change. I am sure there are lots of people who really like the fact that they are keeping traditions alive, that they are helping to preserve something fleeting and unappreciated in our modern world.

Anyhow, it is just sort of heartbreaking, because I suppose they do not respect me for being such a wild child and I cannot comprehend their need for absolute routine. It is sad when there is that kind of disconnect.

So we will see on Saturday. Some of the people are coming because they like that we are doing something new, but others are coming only because it is a tradition, and for those, the Nordic Fest will be a disappointment, even if the meal is delicious and the entertainment nice.

I am looking forward to trying the PLU chefs Icelandic rúllupylsa for the first time, and we are also going to try to sing Braðum koma blessuð jólin. 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Sankta Lucia

Today is Sankta Lucia Day, an event I had never heard of before I came to Pacific Lutheran University. It is not clevrated in Iceland, but I understand it is celebrated in some places in Norway, and very widely embraced in Sweden. 

It is about a person, an Itslian girl named Lucia according to the legend, who stands up for her beliefs to the point of martyrdom. 

We use it as a way to encourage young people, especially women, to think about the I,pittance of having conviction, moral fortitude, and the bravery to let their light shine, to stand up for those that cannot stand up for themselves. 

Although the it is a lot of work and has been going on non stop now since Thursday, and continues today, I am pleased to be a part of this, of encouraging people to stand up for right and wrong. Although we sometimes critics people for being too self righteousness or judgement, we also have to demonstrate a commitment to justice. 

Happy Sankta Lucia Day. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

It isn't brain surgery

It is raining hard here in Seattle again this morning, as one would expect. And I am waiting on news of my mom's MRI, she is back in the hospital again as of yesterday. When this first happened, I should have reached out to my mother's family in Iceland, her sister and brother and my cousins, instead of just blogging about it. But instead I guess I was just in too much shock. Now that it has had some time to settle in, I am being better about letting those know that need to know what is going on and what they can do to help. My brother thinks there is a possibility my mom might need surgery. That has got me thinking about the term "it isn't brain surgery", which is used when there is something so obvious, anyone should be able to do it, even without special training. Like figuring out that it rains a lot in Seattle. Or figuring out that I am upset.

Here is hoping for a wonderfully talented, careful and caring, brain surgeon to come in and make it all better. Make the long, horrible, painful headache go away, the numbness down the left side. Someone who know what they are doing, and who knows it is brain surgery. Make the aneurysm go away.

I wrote the aneurysm a long letter on Monday, telling it all the reason's it doesn't have the right to be there. Of course, there was no where to send such a letter, but it exists on my computer hard drive, a ghost in the machine. And I will never forgive it if it makes things any worse than they already are for my family, and will only consider forgetting about this whole incident if there is a full and complete recovery.

Vonandi er heilbrigiskerfi kerfi hérna í bandarikjum eins gott og man segja.



Saturday, December 5, 2015

Another "poem"

Everyone in Iceland is talking about a performance "artist" who has placed himself, naked, in a plastic box and is living his life on public display for two weeks or something. Everyone can watch him on a live cam as he eats and sleeps and poops and pees and explores other bodily functions. The debate rages about whether or not this counts as art.

My response to this extreme interpretation of artistic license is not particularly strong. I find it uninteresting and lacking in imagination, since it is extremely literal, stripping man down to his animalistic base. We have left that animal base so long ago, I am not sure I see the relevance of reemphasizing it now. Art ought to have an element of social critique to it, and I am not sure I see the social critique in this particular performance, unless it is anti-technology? Then why broadcast it on a webcam? Is it just irony?

Anyhow, if the definition of art can be stretched to include that, than the definition of poetry can definitely be stretched to include my non-rhyming descriptive paragraphs, I think. To wit, I give my readers another one of my non-poetic college days pieces of poetry.

He was there, I knew he was there the whole time. Behind me, to my right, he sat. I looked straight ahead, but I saw everything he did. Each time he laid his head down, each time he shifted in his seat, I noticed. Waves of heat hit me, each time his right hand grabbed his left ring finger, slowly removing the band of gold there, and then putting it on again. When he stood up, I knew that too. For five wonderful days, my mind kept track of every place I saw him, even now I can tell you exactly where he sat on the long wooden bench in the hall. And on the last day, at the train station, I searched for him.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Someone to talk to

It is strange, everyone I know, including a lot of people in Iceland and people from work, as well as family and friends, I am facebook friends with all of them, 400 and some-odd people, almost all of whom I have met and know personally.  But I don't want to put today's news on facebook, because I don't want all the empty platitudes and expressions of concern. So instead I will put it here in my blog, no one I know reads my blog. The statistics show 20-30 people see the posts, but as far as I know, except the occasional pop-in by my dad, none of my friends or family read my blog. It is only strangers, nice strangers maybe, strangers looking for information about Iceland or something interesting about the United States, and instead get my increasingly myopic and uninteresting observations, complaints, and diary-esque entries.

Still here seems to be a good anonymous place to say that around noon today I got a call from my dad, he was at the hospital with my mom. They were running tests on her heart and on her brain, she is OK but seems to have had a small stroke this morning. She's mostly recovered but is staying in the hospital overnight for observation. I am terribly sad and scared about it, and I have no one really to talk to about it. Sent a few texts to my sister and niece, some facebook messages to my brother and sister-in-law, replied to one work email from my lawyer with a short reference to the day's incident, but other than talking to my mom and dad a bit today, the only person I really talked to about how scary and sad this is was my son's father, ie, my ex-husband.

Well he is my second ex-husband. My first ex-husband is Mr. Ward, and I was remembering today that when he and I got married, when I was 21 I guess, our wedding song was Someone to Talk To by the Devlins. I thought the song was a bit boring then, and listening to it again now I still think it is a boring repetitive song. Plus it was silly at 21 to say "it took me so long to find myself someone to talk to". But now at 43, I think it would be more legitimate. Isn't that what we want, someone to talk to that actually understands what we mean without us having to explain and explain and then explain some more? At least that is what I want, I want the feeling that even with just a sentence or two, I am well enough known, well-enough understood, that the range of complex thoughts and feelings going through my mind are comprehended. That is probably a ridiculous desire, but I swear I see people like that, couples and best friends, people who with just a look or a short statement seem to fully understand what the other person means.

Today, my dad knew something was wrong because my mom didn't answer him, when he made a comment about what he was hearing on the news. Normally, she always replies, someway or another, to let him know she heard him. And when she didn't answer, he knew something was wrong.

I put something controversial on facebook the other day about Edward Snowden, I didn't get much of a response to it except a few likes, oh and my lawyer telling me I misquoted him. No one on facebook wanted to actually engage the subject matter. There are braver people out here in the bloggosphere, I like to believe. But then I put the safe emotional stuff here for some reason.

The funny thing is I like debates, I like arguments, I like people to disagree with me and tell me I am wrong and I like people who agree with me on the weird things I think no one will agree with me about. That is not happening on facebook, that is not happening here on my blog, but that's exactly what my mom and dad have. The two of them wrapped up in every word the other one says.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Turkey leftovers

I suppose I could accept the idea that there might be some Icelander out there who is jealous that they did not get the opportunity to take Thursday off work and spend the entire day cooking a set of weird recipes based on a fabricated encounter between Native Americans and pilgrims, foods that never make anyone's normal meal time experience. But I can assure any such delusional Icelander that while the idea might sound good, and a few bites here and there are worth savoring, in general the food is heavy, greasy, gamey, and gives one an upset stomach. No one could, or would ever want to, eat like that everyday. Unfortunately, for those of us living in America, we are forced to try to eat a Thanksgiving meal not only on Thanksgiving day, but also for days and days afterwards, because of all the containers full of mashed potatoes, stuffing, cold chunks of turkey, and gloppy bits of gravy. In the last 5 days, I have only had one meal that has not involved some form of left overs from turkey day. That was the mozarella caprese sandwich that I bought today, which tasted absolutely amazing. I devoured that melty, tomatoey, basily toasty sandwich with such gusto that I had to lock myself in my office so no one could hear me ooh and ahh as I shoved it in my mouth with record speed. Obviously, I have a lot of pent up desire for some food not reheated from Thanksgiving.